Select Board approves funds for Jaffrey fire station addition site plan

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-24-2023 2:08 PM

Jaffrey Select Board members approved the first step in creating a 3,500-square-foot addition to the town’s fire station Monday, authorizing funds for the planning stage of the project Monday.

Fire Chief David Chamberlain appeared before the board to request money from the Turner Fund, a trust fund specifically created for the fire department, to create plans for an addition that would be built off the left side of the station.

The current station is about 8,400 square feet, and all on one floor. The addition would be two stories, and include locker room and showers, which could be used as a decontamination space after firefighters returned after an incident. It would also include a berth for long-term emergencies such as major storm events, and additional bay, office and dispatch space.

Jaffrey’s fire station works on a hybrid model, with a full-time fire chief, two per-diem workers during daytime hours to guarantee some level of response when the fewest members of the department are available and the rest of the crew on call.

While there has not been discussion of when voters might see a warrant to approve the addition, Chamberlain said he would like to take the preliminary steps to be prepared for the possibility of grants. He noted that grants related to buildings often require projects to be as “shovel-ready” as possible.

“We’re taking this first step to make sure we have this design on the shelf, and put us in a better position for the next steps,” Town Manager Jon Frederick said.

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Frederick said there is not room in the current station to add locker rooms or showers, saying that an addition would be “fully necessary” to add those amenities.

The Select Board authorized $10,700 from the Turner Fund trust for the purpose of creating a site plan and building design. The fund currently holds a total of $16,866.

Frederick said there have not been any estimates given for the cost of the actual construction of the addition, although he said the town may have a better idea following the design process. During Monday’s meeting, the board discussed the fact that emergency service buildings are held to a higher standard of construction, which can make them more expensive to build.

Frederick said currently fluctuating construction prices also make the final cost difficult to predict.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.]]>